The new iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini from Apple mark the official end of the 64GB iPhone era.
The company doubled storage capacities for 2021 models while keeping prices the same. So new smartphones now start with 128GB storage with options for 256GB and 512GB.
While 64GB capacities are still present in the older iPhone 12, iPhone 11 and iPhone SE models. But the company’s latest devices come with a capacity of 128 GB.
This change is long overdue. 64GB wasn’t enough in 2018, and the problem grew as the size of apps, photos, videos, and games continued to grow.
Although the company has offered this capacity since 2011 (it joined the 16GB and 32GB models at the time). But it remained even as Apple started offering 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB options across its phones.
The 2015 iPhone came with 16GB, however, it only took the company a year to turn things around with the iPhone 7, which offers 32GB by default.
One of the reasons why 64GB isn’t enough is that you don’t actually get it, because the company’s pre-installed apps and operating system take up anywhere from 11GB to 14GB of usable storage.
According to the company, the available space is less and varies due to many factors. The standard configuration uses about 11GB to 14GB space (including iOS and pre-installed apps) depending on the model and settings.
Pre-installed apps use about 4GB, and you can delete and restore these apps. Storage capacity is subject to change based on software version and may vary by device.
This is one-fifth of your storage space. But even 50GB or so of the remaining storage space is consumed very quickly due to the size of modern apps and games.
Read also: Pre-order the new iPhone 13 phones
Apple announces the end of the era for the iPhone with a capacity of 64 GB
mentioned SensorTower said earlier this year that the best iPhone apps are four times larger than they were five years ago, a continuation of a long-running trend of larger apps.
For example, Nintendo’s Fire Emblem Heroes takes up nearly 4GB of storage space.
And WhatsApp and iMessage chats can build up quickly, too. And that’s without talking about the music or the videos. Which can take up all the free space on your phone if you download a lot of locally stored content.
And there’s the photos and videos, which can easily occupy the entire 50GB for photographers, especially when you consider the fact that the iPhone’s improved cameras have arrived alongside more demanding photo and video formats.
The ProRAW format, which was introduced with iPhone 12 Pro models, can average about 25MB per image, and a 30-second 4K video at 30fps needs about 175MB (or about 85MB with HEVC encoding). HDR photography increases the size of these files.
The company has neglected 1080p video quality for years across the iPhone (which has been technically capable of 4K shooting since the iPhone 6S), likely to avoid complaints about running out of storage space.
Regardless of this increase, it does not solve the other storage problem of the company providing customers in 2021 with just 5GB of free iCloud storage (necessary for iPhone backups) introduced a decade ago.
The additional internal capacity may help alleviate the problem by allowing users to store more photos and messages locally on their phones. Instead of cloud storage, which leaves more space for things like device backups.
Read also: Apple unveils iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max